Another Successful Halloween Awaits Retailers, Says NRF

WASHINGTON - Seems that retailers are in for a treat this Halloween, as sales are estimated to reach $3.12 billion, up from $2.96 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation's 2004 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch.

The average consumer is expected to spend $43.57 on Halloween merchandise this year, according to the survey. Sweets -- always a popular Halloween purchase - should bring in about $14.83 per shopper, while costumes should bring in a heftier $15.21 on average. Meanwhile 68 percent of consumers said they're planning to purchase decorations.

"Halloween fills an important retail void between back-to-school and the holiday season," said NRF president and c.e.o. Tracy Mullin in a statement released yesterday. "Many retailers are carving out quite a niche for themselves in the Halloween market."

According to the survey, Halloween will be celebrated most among young adults, with more than 69 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds planning to celebrate the holiday. Over half of 18- to 24-year-olds said they'll dress in costume (54.1 percent) and throw or attend a party (50.6 percent), while most consumers 55-plus will settle for handing out candy (82.7 percent).

Although the $3.12 billion to be spent on Halloween this year is significant, it remains the sixth-largest spending holiday after the following: winter holidays ($219.9 billion estimated), Valentine's Day ($12.79 billion), Easter ($10.47 billion), Mother's Day ($10.43 billion), and Father's Day ($8.04 billion).

The NRF 2004 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey polled 7,680 consumers from Aug. 31 to Sept. 8. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.
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